British psych-rockers Kula Shaker made long-awaited return to Philly with K 2.0

kula shaker
Kula Shaker | photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN

Twenty years ago, in January of 1996, an eastern-music-influenced, post-Brit-pop psych-rock band called Kula Shaker began to release singles from their debut record K. The singles were massive commercial successes, and the record went multi-platinum, offering fans the promise of a new British rock band with all the talent and the ear for radio-friendly melody of Oasis — and, as a contrastable bonus, a lead singer who wasn’t an ornery, conceited ass.

The band would have follow-up success with a movie soundtrack cover of “Hush” (best known as a Deep Purple song), and a new single for a delayed sophomore record. And then, for a series of sundry reasons, the band announced their split, and faded into relative obscurity.

Since reforming some ten years ago, though, Kula Shaker have released another three studio albums, including this past February’s K 2.0 — a tour for which, finally, brought lead singer Crispian Mills and co. back to a Philadelphia venue for the first time since their heyday. You could’ve done much worse last night than to have spent a Tuesday evening at World Cafe Live with the band, among a surprisingly small but enthusiastic crowd bathed in the deep, bright hues of stage lights, and the screenings and sounds of maximalist mod psychedelia.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: The Bronx / Mariachi El Bronx at The Fillmore, Kula Shaker at World Cafe Live, and Bryant Eugene Vazquez at Bourbon and Branch

Mariachi El Bronx
Mariachi El Bronx | Photo courtesy of the artist

Tonight at the Fillmore in Fishtown, Los Angeles hardcore band The Bronx performs both as themselves and as their alter ego Mariachi El Bronx. In the latter, the band performs (you guessed it) mariachi music, an idea was born out of the band’s desire to challenge themselves musically. The Bronx will be supported by Dead Heavens, a four-piece group with roots in hard rock and New York City. Check out what Mariachi El Bronx is all about below. Continue reading →